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Lenders Routinely Overcharge Military Personnel More Interest On Loans Than They Owe


If you read enough personal finance advice, a trend emerges.  If you call your utility providers, you can often lower your monthly bills just by asking politely and persistently.  Hospitals are often willing to negotiate directly with uninsured patients and charge them an amount that, while still financially burdensome, is a lot less than what the hospital would have charged if the patient had not spoken up.  In other words, the same principle that helps people save money if they spend hours scrolling through coupon websites also applies beyond the realm of retail purchases.  An optimist would say that all of this means that you can save a lot of money by investing a little time.  A pessimist would say that corporations are counting on you not to notice that they are charging you more than they have to; it turns out that this is a safe bet, because consumers must work night and day to keep up with the payments on their debts.  If you visit a Miami debt lawyer, it may turn out that it is possible to talk your way into lowering some of your debt amounts, so that you might not even need to file for bankruptcy or take out a debt consolidation loan.

How Does the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Affect Interest Payments?

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act contains a provision to the effect that, when members of the Reserve or National Guard get called to active duty, they have the right to have lenders lower the interest rates for the duration of the servicemember’s active duty.  The loans eligible for the interest rate reduction under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act include home mortgages and car loans, among others.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported that, between 2007 and 2018, members of the National Guard and Reserve paid $100 million in interest beyond what they would have paid if they had exercised their rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.  Approximately 90 percent of eligible borrowers kept paying their original interest rates even while they were on active duty.  Rachel Gittleman of the Consumer Federation of America believes that the labor-intensive application process is a major reason that so few servicemembers reduce the interest rates on their eligible loans.  When service members get called for active duty, the deadlines for reporting for duty are short, and sometimes the servicemember’s entire family must relocate.  Scanning a copy of the letter calling the servicemember for duty and the numerous other documents and filling out lots of forms is a challenge, even for people who are used to acting quickly in order to report for duty.

If you visit a debt lawyer about taking charge of your debt, your lawyer might find that you are eligible for lower payments on some of your loans, regardless of your military status.

Contact a Debt Lawyer About Reducing the Payments on Your Loans

A South Florida debt lawyer can help you avoid paying more interest on your loans than the law requires you to pay.  Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC in Miami, Florida to discuss your case.



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